The Uterus Chronicles – Episode 1

Episode 1: Does My Uterus Make Me Look Fat?

I had an illuminating gynecology visit last week. I had to go, because I had originally gone to my GP for blood in my stool; he examined me and said he thought I had fibroids in my uterus. I had a CT scan, which confirmed a diagnosis of “an enlarged myomatous uterus”. My bowel, as well as all my other organs, were peachy fine. The GP set me up with a Gynocologist and a Gastro-intestine doc, just to be on the safe side.

This post is about the Gyno visit, and the state of my uterus. (I’m thinking at this point the GI post will be positively tame. Tame, I tell you!)

So, I met this nice doc, probably in her mid to late 30’s. We talked for almost twenty, maybe thirty minutes. After she went through my symptoms (I’ll spare you the details), I then complained that for the past three or four years, when I turn sideways, I am not thin. I’ve always – always been thin sideways, and not so much straight on.

But I’m not thin anymore when I turn sideways. I’ve gained weight, but it’s out of proportion to how I’ve been eating. Even with The Menopause hovering on my personal horizon, there is no real reason for the weight gain.

Plus, my energy is low. I wake up a lot at night, I have to pee ALL THE TIME, and I get indigestion – something I never have had, with the exception of the two times I’ve been pregnant.

Pregnant. That’s it. I feel – pregnant.  But ugly-pregnant, not glowy-pregnant. I feel as though my bladder is being pressed on constantly. I often have a bit of difficulty breathing, and I’ll get odd aches and pains in my abdomen. Fibroids in the uterus. So technically I am pregnant, but with fibroids. Swell.

Plus, my periods. (Okay, I’m not sparing you the details.) The first couple of days, it’s like Niagra Falls. Every hour on the hour I need to change my extra-super-duper tampon. At night I have to wear a huge overnight pad along with my extra-super-duper tampon. And even then, there are mornings where I’ll wake up and find I’ve bled all over the sheets. Yeah – that makes a woman feel sexy.

My doctor was FABULOUS. Prior to the physical exam, she told me there are options – drug-wise, I can go on a drug that is fairly new here in the States and kind of expensive, but I would take it just for the two or three really heavy days of my period, 3 times a day, to cut the blood flow in half.

Or, I could go on the Pill, which would also lessen the blood flow, but with hormones involved, I’d have to go off them on a yearly basis for a few months in order to see where I am – because there is no indication of WHEN I’ll actually go into full-blown Menopause. It could be four months, or four years. There’s just no telling, and since I don’t have sisters…no help there.

Surgically, there’s an ablation that could be done (I think it’s called a hysteroscopy – where they go in vaginally). They can remove the fibroids via a laparoscopy, too – through a small incision near the belly button. Or they can go into my uterus through the veins in my groin to cauterize the blood vessels that are feeding the fibroids, which would at least cut off their blood supply. And the fourth option, of course, is a hysterectomy.

So.

She then proceeded to the physical exam. And the minute she put her hand on my abdomen, she said “oh wow.” Um, okay.

Apparently the reason I am wide when I turn sideways is because my uterus is huge. Or, as she put it, if I had come in to see her and I was 25 instead of 52, she’d ask me if I were pregnant. Because to her, my body feels about 5 months pregnant. Let me repeat that. FIVE. MONTHS. PREGNANT.

Yeah. Knew it. Okay, but there’s a bright spot – it’s not FAT! It’s my fibroid-filled uterus making me look big. That’s a plus, right? Right? Sigh.

So, the surgical options have narrowed because my uterus is so damned HUGE. (She didn’t even see the need to do a vaginal ultrasound – she could FEEL it. And then, suddenly, so could I.)

Surgically, I could go with the cauterizing of the blood vessels in my uterus to cut off the fibroids. But this will not get rid of the fibroids – it will merely stop them from growing (which would be, I’ll admit, a total blessing).

OR: I could go with the hysterectomy (with a low bikini incision). My ovaries would be left in, because I don’t have any family history of cancer at all and, according to the doc, our ovaries have an important role to play as we age. They don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s important.

This last option would give me my figure back (such as it is). The medication options will help with the blood flow, but it won’t shrink the fibroids into non-existence, from what I understand. (Even after menopause, the fibroids don’t just go away, and I’ll be my normal, slightly fist-sized uterus girl again. Oh, no. That, of course, would be too easy.)

When I told my husband, the first thing I did was help him feel my abdomen. Almost from hipbone to hipbone, from pubic bone to just below my belly button – my uterus fills my abdomen.  Considering it’s supposed to be roughly the size of my fist, it’s beyond ginormous. I feel awkward, ugly, huge and impossible.

Tom, my love, wants me to do whatever will give me the best long-term health outcome. He doesn’t care if I don’t get my figure back. (I think a main part of it is he doesn’t want me going in for any surgery, at all. I can totally understand that.) But me? I’m tired of feeling huge. Of being 5 months pregnant. I’ve been this way, steadily growing, for four years now. And I’m tired.

I don’t know what I’ll end up doing. I’ve got research to do. The doc took a biopsy of the fibroids and we should get the results back in a few days. Then we’ll sit down, the three of us, and figure out what our next step should be.

Why am I writing about this here? Because it didn’t dawn on me that when a GP doc gave me an exam in 2010, that she might be wrong when she pressed on my uterus and said, “What’s your bladder doing there?” I’ll never know how different things might have been, if this had been caught in 2010.

Things change in our bodies as we women age, and we need to be alert to the changes. The Niagra Falls part of my period didn’t really get bad until about 3-4 years ago. That should have been my first clue. But I wasn’t paying any attention. I had assumed that everything was as it should be.

I was wrong. Learn from my mistakes. Pay attention to your health. It’s important, and no one else can possibly do it for you.

~~~

Thanks for stopping by! I love your opinions. If you’ve got (or had) a uterus, talk to me – what do you think about this? And if you’re a guy, what do YOU think?

 

 

This entry was posted in Life, Observations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to The Uterus Chronicles – Episode 1

  1. Roz Lee says:

    {{hugs}} Why can’t we just age gracefully?? Hoping for a positive outcome so you can focus your energies elsewhere.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Roz. It’s a balancing act. Do you have an opinion on the options? Really looking for opinions!

  2. Alice Abel Kemp says:

    Christine – I don’t envy you your choices, but I have to tell you that a hysterectomy isn’t such a bad deal, assuming the biopsy is negative. Just think about it – No More Periods!!
    Even after menopause, women with their uterus might have their periods return when they take the pill – they call that a side-effect. Jeeze! So if you’re asking for opinions — go for the hysterectomy and give up the entire mess. JMHO Good Luck, Alice

  3. Oh, girl. Another surgery. Ugh. I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with this, but I know you will pull through. You’ve fought worse. You are a strong woman and you have a lot of friends to see you through with prayers and well wishes. Big hugs and thank goodness you do pay attention to your body!

    • Christine says:

      Hugs back, Rachel! I know. Right? Tom says he doesn’t need any more gray hair, lol!

  4. Big hugs, Christine. These are such hard decisions to be thrown into your lap. I was diagnosed with endometriosis several years ago and have dealt with many of the same symptoms. About a year and half ago, my doctor found a fibroid in an ultrasound we’ve been watching…but I lost my health insurance a year ago. So the option of major surgery has sort of been pulled from me.

    For me, with the endometriosis, a hysterectomy that leaves the ovaries is not an option. I’ve also heard good things from my sister-in-law who had an ablation.

    It’s hard for someone to give advice to another about their body. Your smart to do the research and talk to your doctor to figure out which choice is best for you.

    • Christine says:

      Oh Connie, that totally sucks, losing your insurance. Here’s hoping you can get back on that bandwagon soon. We’ve been struggling with keeping up on our insurance payments so I know how that goes.

      I like opinions because I hear stories – like Robena’s, below. Sharing is the only way I can get out of a knee-jerk reaction (take it all out!) and start thinking long-term.

  5. My goodness, Christine, what a story! And I’m glad you’re taking care of your health and not ignoring your symptoms which a lot of women (and men) do. Good luck with whatever option you choose and hope you feel better soon.
    Patti

  6. Oh, I’m so sorry. This is such a big decision. You give great advice to always listen to your body.

    My mom had a hysterectomy, and it was rough for her. The recovery was a long one.

    How you feel about yourself is important, too. If the fibroids make you feel five months pregnant, then the hysterectomy would certainly help.

    This is not an easy decision, and I don’t have the right answer for you. But know that I’ll be thinking of you!

    • Christine says:

      Lindsey, my doc said the recovery time is a hard 6 weeks. My mom had a total hysterectomy back in 1965; she was 35. I don’t remember much about it as I was only 5 at the time; but she went through menopause then, and again when she was in her 40s. Not fun.

      There’s always a lot to consider!

  7. Maria Powers says:

    Big hugs to you on all of the news – good, bad & ugly – being female and aging is no picnic. Huge kuddos to all of the women who do it and do it so well. We are to be commended for our courage and our grace in dealing with the changes in our over engineered bodies. I constantly encourage all women to go to their doctors when they notice a change in their periods, their cycles, etc… each of us DOES know our bodies the best. On that note, I need to call my doctor and get a recommendation for a dermatologist because I’ve started noticing weird things in my skin.

    As for discussing what’s going on in your life with your aging, “Hip hip hooray, Christine!” We need to discuss these things. We need to own them and we need to make sure that our medical care is not used as a political football. We deserve better and your posting is one step in the direction of women everywhere learning to own their bodies and to not be ashamed of them. We are the cradle of the world and we deserve to be treated with respect. You’ve done that in this post.

    Thank you for the reminders.

  8. Robena Grant says:

    I’m sorry you have to go through this, Christine.
    Many years ago, I had similar menstrual problems, was working full time and literally had to take off at least one day a month from work. I was through with the baby-making, and pre-menopausal, so the GYN said lets do a vaginal hysterectomy. We did.

    Fast forward a couple of years and I became extremely tired, put on weight and felt cold all the time. A thyroid panel didn’t show anything unusual. Fast forward another two years and I had Hashimotos Thyroiditis, where the my thyroid was totally destroyed. If I’d still been having a period I’d have seen the changes, and that original heavy flow that abated quickly was a forerunner to the hypothyroid problem. Finally after doing a more thorough thyroid panel that included TSH levels, I got onto the fast track for recovery. But if I’d kept my uterus I’d have had a better way to monitor not only the thyroid problem but menopause itself.

    Hope your decision comes easily and you get to feeling better real soon. Hugs.

    • Christine says:

      Roben, thank you for telling me your history. It’s stories like yours that help me put everything in perspective. I’ve got the luxury of time to figure this out, so I’ll take the time.

      Hugs!

  9. Mona Karel says:

    First of all, sorry you had to go through this and THANK YOU for sharing and possibly saving someone else’s life. I did one of those scary heavy bleeds while on a trip (in my 50’s – a while back!) and all my Ob Gyn could say was: “That happens when you get to your age.” I changed doctors
    I am SO GLAD doctors are now leaving in the ovaries. Those hormones are critical to our bodies, even if we never use them to make babies.
    Whatever your decision, you’re approaching it from the right angle. The more information you have, the better. HUGE hugs

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Mona! Yeah – its funny how the docs don’t know exactly what role the ovaries play in our aging, but that they ARE important.

      And sometimes, changing doctors is the only recourse we have. Hugs back!

  10. {{{Hugs}}} I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this and make such tough decisions. But I’m very glad you’re talking about it. I think it helps us all to talk about such issues. In fact, you reminded me I really need to go for an appt. I’ve been putting it off because … well… I just hate it. But it’s a necessary evil.

    I absolutely loved this: “our ovaries have an important role to play as we age. They don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s important.” LOL I think they guess about a lot of things still.

    I started out flooding, then skipping, then next to nothing every 3 or 4 months and then I just stopped. I’m only 49 but since both my grandmother and aunt stopped early, I’m not worried about it. But I still need to go check things out. My mom and sis both had horrible periods (thank God I didn’t) and had hysterectomies in their 30’s. My sis had uteran cancer. But all is well now.

    Yep. You’re definitely doing a service to remind people they need to go in for those annual appointments. I’ll be praying for you.

    • Rhonda, I’d be happier about a decision if my periods were done, so I count you lucky! Having a hysterectomy after I’ve already gone through menopause is an option – if I’m willing to wait that long. I just don’t know.

  11. Sarah says:

    From the far side of menopause, I’d like to say that it’s wonderful to be no longer at the whim of fluctuating hormones. However, the uterus is still there, with its threat of uterine cancer, etc. If I were faced with your situation, I probably would opt for hysterectomy. No hormones to wrestle; no uterus to mess up. Just my opinion.

    What I do feel most strongly for you is sympathy. You must be scared and horrified. I know I would be/have been. I send you strength and love. Be well.

    • Sarah, after the tumor in the head? This seems like a minor annoyance. A BIG minor annoyance. But to the hubby, it’s a disaster.

      I’m trying hard not to do the same knee-jerk reaction I had with the head tumor – TAKE IT OUT! Luckily my research proved true on that, plus I had awesome doctors.

      I am seeing some scary statistics of things that can go wrong, so I’m really trying to go slow. Which is why I’m posting about it.

      Thanks for the prayers, hon – always accepted!

  12. joanie says:

    Wow! Did you ever do your good deed for the day. Thanks so much for posting your “adventure in gyno-land”. We are so prone to want to believe, if we can stand something long enough it will eventually go away or correct itself. Yours is definitely a cautionary tale we need to remember and also share with all our sisters out there. Take care. We’ll all keep you in our thoughts.

    Joanie

    • Joanie, you’re right. Maybe it’s the woman in us? We can handle it. We can handle anything. Until – we can’t. I guess we need to learn we don’t HAVE to handle it without help.

      Thanks hon!

  13. Catie Rhodes says:

    Well, I have endometriosis, too. I’ve had the Niagra Falls periods and the endometrial ablation. It stopped my periods, period. Which has been great. I’ve also had laparoscopy for the endometriosis, which was all over my ovaries, uterus, colon, and was even in my lower back. It helped quite a bit.

    Now, my cousin has fibroids like you. (Female problems run in our family.) She had a hysterectomy at 41 because the fibroids were so large, and she was terribly uncomfortable. She kept her ovaries and is overall thrilled with the hysterectomy.

    My endometriosis has started to hurt again (in my back). My doctor suggested it may be time for a hysterectomy. I’m 39. I’d hoped to make it to menopause and avoid the hysterectomy because they’d take my ovaries. Same as you. So I don’t have real advice, but I do empathize with you. (((hugs)))

    My doctor does the Da Vinci hysterectomy, which does not require the hip to hip incision. So if you do get the hysterectomy that may be something to check into.

    http://www.davincihysterectomy.com/index.aspx

    All that said, if there is reincarnation, I want to come back as a man!

    • Christine says:

      Catie, thanks for the link – I will definitely be checking this out with my doc. And thanks for sharing your experiences – it’s times like these that I miss the Village Wise Woman. Which is why I love the internet!

  14. I chose not to have the ablation procedure because, well, scar tissue in my uterus sounded horrible. However, I have had to cauterize a bleeding vessel in my nose many years ago. Basicially it is the same thing. I didn’t want to do it, and in a brief few months my problem cleared up because my period finally up and quit. I was young, but my mother and sister had done the same thing.

    Many, many years ago, when I worked in a pathology department, I couldn’t believe the size of some fibroids on women’s uteri! Wow. If they can remove your fibroids without taking out your entire uterus – I’d say go for it.

    Menopause sucks!

    • Christine says:

      Lynne, that’s an interesting question – I don’t know if they can remove the fibroids without taking my uterus. There are a lot of questions that need answers before I make any sort of decision.

      Thanks for weighing in on this – I do appreciate it!

      • inkgrrl says:

        First of all, I am so sorry you have to deal with this. It is the suck. As to whether your doc can do a myomectomy and not an hysterectomy, that depends on the location of the fibroids and their size – on the outside or inside of your uterus, or implanted in your uterine wall – as well as the doctor’s expertise/comfort level. An extensive myomectomy with lots of fibroids that are actually implanted in the uterine wall leaves you with a uterus that’s been swiss-cheesed then sewed back up. Lotsa scar tissue. Pendulous fibroids – those that grow on a sort of stalk that provides their blood supply – are the ones that can easily be cauterized and then hopefully resorb into your abdominal tissue. About 3 years ago I had an abdominal myomectomy, as I wasn’t yet 40 and didn’t want a total hysty, and only one of my alien seed pods was actually implanted in my uterine wall. The other 10+ were external, the largest 11 cm across, and were a huge relief to have removed, although it took me a year afterward to get the ligaments in my pelvis realigned correctly. Something I’m sure a lot of moms have experienced 😉 I wasn’t able to have the procedure done laparascopically, as I’d had three previous abdominal procedures (docs were worried about old scar tissue) so I ended up with 22 staples running up my belly. The hardest part of recovery was not taking my staples out myself, as my energy surged and my hot flashes disappeared after the little estrogen pumping alien seed pods were removed. Every month I have annoying cramping on the side of my uterus where the one implanted fibroid was removed, but that’s about it. Sorry for writing an entire badly-formed essay here – I hope you get your alien seed pods handled soon!

  15. OMG I cannot imagine. But I think your voice that we all need to pay attention and listen to our bodies is KEY and so important. Recently a bunch of gal pals were sitting around chatting and one mentioned not having had a pat smear in about 7 years. She wasn’t on the pill any more so she didn’t think it was necessary?!?! I near fell over! It’s YOUR HEALTH! And catching things early is key…
    Keep us posted on the results and your decisions. It’s tough. I can’t imagine what I’d do in your shoes but whatever you choose – we are here to support you. Sending you huge hugs!

    • Christine says:

      Natalie, thanks – and you’re right, its amazing what women don’t know about their own bodies and health. Hugs!

  16. Ugh. I’m so sorry. I HATE hospitals. Never can sleep. And with Crohn’s you see a lot of hospitals. My mother-in-law had her fibroids removed and never looked back. She was so happy to see the floods retreat. My daughter-in-law says the bikini cut doesn’t come with much pain. I dunno. Any cuts have pain to me.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Louann. I must say the last time I was in the hospital, they kept me pretty drugged – but still the nurses are relentless, aren’t they? Bless them!

      Hugs!

  17. Sandi Phillips says:

    I just made this decision, and surgery is July 2 for me. I am about where you are at about 5 months “pregnant”. I am 44 and even though I dont have children, decide hysterectomy was best as the others could have other problems too or regrowths.

    Good luck and I found a wonderful website called http://www.hystersisters.com They have forums and alternatives etc

  18. Christine says:

    Sandi – thank you so much for weighing in. And thank you for the website! I’ll definitely spend time there.

    Good luck with your surgery – keep in touch!

  19. Robbi Thornburg Starnegg says:

    Thank you for getting the ball rolling on this …. I had an ablation nearly 10 years ago or so, as I too, had difficult periods and bled like a faucet. It was a very good decision for me….. I didn’t have the fibroids though, so really can’t give input. However….

    Now, well into menopause, I realized after reading your article, that I should really not just depend on my GP, though a wonderful doctor she is! I too, am quite “poochy” and cannot figure out why. I just thought it was heredity…..all our family gals “pooch” at this age! I do think I’ll make an appointment. Thanks.

  20. First, prayers that biopsy comes back all clear. The waiting is no fun!
    Second, three years ago I was in the same boat = hysterectomy at age 34. After 4 c-sections, no big deal.
    Plus side, no period for the last three years. I don’t think another plus side is needed, do you? LOL!
    *HUGS*

    • Sasha, bless you for responding. I’m 99.9% certain the biopsy will come back negative – no history of uterine, ovarian, cervical or breast cancer in my family. But it’s nice to be sure.

      As far as no period goes, I’m so used to having them – that rhythm of my body – that losing that part isn’t necessarily a plus for me.

      Wow – I’m thinking too hard because my brain hurts, lol!

  21. Tanya Hanson says:

    Hi Christine, I hope my answer helps you. I had a four-month fetus-sized fibroid that made life miserable. I’ll spare the gruesome details but some parallel yours. Having my uterus removed (I didn’t have a “hyster” removed, so I never use that term) was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was teaching high school and having to leave the room during sudden bloody fluxes…it was terrible. Ovaries left in because, as I understand it, they help produce estrogen.

    The recovery was easy. Fam waited on me hand and foot. No more worrying about a late in life baby. No more birth control. Best of all, NO MORE PERIODS.

    For me, best decision EVER.

    • Tanya, thank you for talking. I really wish I had come from a big ol’ southern family, you know? One with lots of aunts and cousins and grandmas sitting around and talking about this stuff.

      But the internet is the next best thing, I guess. I’m learning so much.

  22. Why do we ladies get stuck with all the crap? Honestly…men have it easy..I really hope that everything goes well for you…

    • Thanks, Savannah! Not sure I’d want to be a guy, though – war and guns and such. Plus feeling helpless in the face of everything women go through. I’ve watched my hubby the past couple of years and it’s eye-opening.

      Cheers dear!

  23. Dayle says:

    Hugs from me as well!

    I had the gushing periods after I went off the pill – except they’d go on for weeks. Weeks. I once left a hotel room looking like a crime scene. Occasionally these were accompanied by the sensation of ground glass and barbed wire in my uterus….

    However, I was in perimenopause at that point, so by the time I decided to have an ablation, my body decided it was done with periods of any sort.

    Love you, hon!

  24. Thank you for this post! I have been battling with what I think are gastro issues since my gallbladder was removed in 2010. Nothing went back to normal, and half the time I’m so bloated I look six months pregnant. The other half–is not pleasant. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy done that found nothing, and my doc has tried just about everything. I have never thought about fibroids though, and I should have, because I’ve had them, had endometriosis, and have been diagnosed with chronic cysts on my ovaries and varicose veins on the uterus. You’ve given me a lot to think about–I’m wondering if my problems are being caused by another system. And like Roben, I am hypothyroid. We need to talk about these things more, and not just accept them as “signs of aging” etc. I don’t want to just give up at 38.

    • Christine says:

      PLEASE don’t give up, Melissa! And definitely find a good gynocologist – they are worth their weight in gold. The HysterSisters site is an interesting site – there’s a lot of free-flowing information there (and a lot of rules). You might want to check them out – I’m still learning my way around the place. http://www.hystersisters.com

    • Melissa, you are way too young to be giving up on these things as signs of aging! If you’re not getting any answers from these doctors, you might want to try a holistic doctor. There are more choices than just herbalists, there are holistic MDs, who look at your body as a series of interrelated systems, and then can more easily pinpoint and treat the trouble area. With Western medicine, we’ve developed some amazing skills and knowledge with specialization, but sometimes these specialists can’t see the forest for the trees!

  25. Tom Attwood says:

    Like many guys, I am always awestruck at the things women go through routinely, no whining, brave as hell. We’ve been lucky, soulmate has never had serious female problems, but many of our friends have. I’d send you hugs but I doubt your husband would appreciate it, so instead I’ll send you wishes that you make the right decision, whatever that may be, and you have all this behind you soon.

    • Christine says:

      Aw, thanks, Tom. Yeah – the guys have it tougher I think. They can’t totally understand and it scares the hell out of them.

  26. Laura Cunningham says:

    I’m glad you got a great doc, and got a confirmed diagnosis. I am not going to urge you to do the non-surgical route. I can completely get behind the hysterectomy, having had one at 31. Granted, I don’t have anything left – basically, I got spayed. So, instant menopause. However, having had periods like you’ve had from the beginning, I was so very glad to suddenly have energy and not be a bitch anymore (unless it was warranted). I had my quality of life back. Two weeks after surgery, I rode my horse (ok, the doctor would have crapped tacks, but it made me happy and it was only for about 30 minutes at a walk).

    You will make the right decision for you. But hysterectomies are no longer the booger they were in our mothers’ day.

    Good luck with the gastro – I’m sure you’re right that it will be tame!!

    • Laurie, I guess I never heard about your hysterectomy (spaying? LOL – that’s the vet in you!). Of course, at the time I would have been 25 and deep into my own strange life.

      I appreciate everyone’s stories. I’m really looking at what will be best for me in the long term – physically and emotionally. I plan on being around for at least another 30 years, and I don’t want to do something now that I’ll regret later. You know?

  27. Donna Coe-Velleman says:

    Jeepers Christine, hope everything works out well. Being a female can definitely be the pits at times. Men have their own problems too but it just doesn’t seem to compare to ours.

  28. Kerri Nelson says:

    Hey hon,

    How could I pass up reading a blog entitled “The Uterus Chronicles”? 😉

    Among my many varied degrees and job experiences, I once took a jaunt into the world of female healthcare as a Certified Childbirth Educator. That being said, I only made it through one vaginal birth of my very own before my body was nearly ruined (I will spare the gory details on that). My other two subsequent birth were via good old fashioned C-Sections. Yep, I became a fan of surgery and I never thought I’d say that. So, really it will come down to what is best for your body.

    As women we tend to have trouble separating what is best for our body with what is best for our peace of mind. But, know this much…

    –You are a strong, resourceful woman
    –You will make the right decision
    –You will get better (be sure you trust your doctor fully or get a second opinion)
    –Prayers do help
    –I’ll be here for you in any way I can

    And, if it helps at all, my mother had a hysterectomy after years of endometrial woes and a prior surgery to remove those woes (which did little or nothing). After her hysterectomy, she has been much happier and recommends it to anyone who complains about anything. If I say…”oh, I have PMS” she replies, “get it taken out!”. If I say…”I have a headache” she replies, “probably that uterus, get it out!” 😮

    So, I guess you could say, she’s a fan of the procedure.

    Whatever you decide, I’m thinking of you, my friend.

    Big hugs,
    Kerri

  29. I too had the menstrual flow from hell – could soak through 2 super-plus tampons and a maxi pad in twenty minutes. This meant my life was ruled by figuring out when my first two days were a-coming, and staying close to a bathroom. Did not have any fibroids (then), so I had a thermal ablation, and life was puppies and kittens and rainbows again.

    Last check-ups, my gyno thinks I have small fibroids, but as I’m also now mPausing, not such a concern. My sis had a fibroid that was interwoven into her uterus, had to have the whole thing removed. It was over five pounds! We joked she should’ve had a sofa spring put in at the same time, to pull her belly button in towards her spine.

    So sorry you’re going through this, but know that, to judge by these comments, you’re certainly not alone!

  30. Just FYI, the role your ovaries play, even if your uterus is gone, is to provide hormones which will help keep you healthy. Keep them if you can, whatever else you do. And much good luck and hugs.

    • Thanks, Sharon. I consider myself intelligent – but the depth of my ignorance of my own body is astonishing (and somewhat humiliating). Maybe every ten years we women should go through a class – “your body in your 40’s, your 50’s, your 60’s” and so on…

  31. Christine — help spread the word! Now you know why we’re supposed to visit it our gynecologists as well as our GP/internists once a year. If you’d been a good girl/woman, she might have detected this as it started.

    Gynecologists — they’re not just for pap smears and birth control any more!

    • Christine says:

      Actually Susan, my gynecologist 4 and 3 years ago didn’t detect anything. 2 years ago I thought I WAS seeing a gynecologist and not a GP. Last year? Kinda busy with recovering from acoustic neuroma surgery. Having a gynecological exam slipped in importance.

      And my doctor this year said I’ve probably had fibroids for years. Most women do. So thanks for the hand slap but it really wasn’t needed. ; )

  32. Lorie Viera says:

    After almost 30 years of endometriosis, several surgeries, numerous procedures and virtually every important event in my life being ruined by the period that ate Cincinnati I finally got my hysterectomy in 2001 and it was TOTALLY worth it. Sure it takes months to completely recover but life is so much better. Sounds like the hysteroscopy is out for you but if not, I caution against it. I had one a couple of years prior to my hysterectomy and it caused a life threatening infection throughout my entire abdominal cavity. I also highly recommend the website Hyster Sisters for their forum (if it is still up). Its a great place for sharing experiences and asking those “is it just me, or…” questions.

  33. Christine says:

    Lorie, I appreciate hearing from you! I had another talk with the doc yesterday – illuminating. But that will wait until Episode 2.

    Hugs honey!

  34. Traci Bell says:

    Hi Christine,

    I had a laparoscopy and ablation last summer. SOO glad I did. My dr. says only a histerectomy will solve my problem, but my symptoms are now manageable and allow me to keep organs for a few more years. Thoughts are with you 🙂

  35. katjameson says:

    Woman have the hysterectomy! Eh Gads! Ya shoulda called me. Have it yesterday. Really. It’s not something that will get better and you aren’t using the uterus anymore anyhow. Give yourself a clean break and don’t futz around with the other options. It’s a few weeks off work with your feet up writing and then you’ll be as good as new. =)

  36. Debra Kristi says:

    {{hugs}} Sorry I am so late in showing up here sweetie! I’ve been hiding under a rock. 🙁 I want to run over there and give you a real hug. Thank you for sharing this. I know it can be hard putting it all out there like this, but it helps others, like myself, to know what to look for. I’m not knowledgeable in either procedure to give you sound advice but it looks like you are getting plenty already. I know you will make the right decision.

  37. Christine,
    There’s so much to consider! Here are some more thoughts on the subject. Sounds like a lot of women have been happy with the hysterectomy, but I want to mention that some women do go through a mourning afterwards, so you would be prepared for that possibility if you go that route. My step-mom, who was almost 60 at the time, cried for a week at the loss of her fertility, even though she had no intention of ever having a child. Much of that was hormones, but it took a couple weeks for the doctors to get her balanced.
    Also, the fibroids themselves are actually caused by hormone imbalances:
    “Uterine fibroid tumors ( myomas ), like breast fibrocysts, are a product of estrogen dominance (too much estrogen). Estrogen stimulates their growth, and lack of estrogen causes them to atrophy.” – John Lee, M.D.
    Many women reduce or eliminate these fibroids by using a natural Progesterone cream. Make certain it is Natural Progesterone, not the chemically altered kind. Because you have the luxury of time to make this decision, while you are considering which surgery or procedure would be best for you, you could try this cream in the meantime. 🙂
    There are many diet changes that are recommended to reduce them as well, if you are interested in researching them. The main suggestions are to reduce estrogens
    (especially soy products), and to consume food and supplements that detoxify and/or support the liver, to help it process the hormones in your body. BTW, too much phytoestrogens can trigger hypothyroidism too.
    I am proud of you for starting this discussion, and grateful too. Yes, I’m overdue for a pap smear as well. You are strong and brave and wise!
    Hugs!
    Chellesie

Comments are closed.